The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking action against a mortgage company for advertising that the CFPB says led consumers to believe the lender was affiliated with the U.S. government.
The agency is ordering California-based RMK Financial to pay $250,000 for deceiving borrowers with claims of government affiliation through its marketing of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans. The action follows previous deceptive advertising findings by the CFPB, including a recent action taken against lender All Financial Services for misleading reverse mortgage advertisements.
“Deceptive advertising has no place in the mortgage marketplace, and the Consumer Bureau will continue to take action against companies that mislead consumers with false claims of government affiliation,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s action sends a clear message that misleading consumers is illegal, unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.”
According to the CFPB’s findings, RMK, which does business under the name Majestic Home Loans, mailed printed advertisements to more than 100,000 consumers across several states, which contained names and logos of the VA and FHA and implied the company was affiliated with the government agencies.
Recipients of the mailed advertisements included thousands of military service members and veterans, the CFPB found. The company also misled consumers on interest rates and estimated monthly payments through the advertising, the CFPB says, and gave misleading information over the phone in some cases implying the company was endorsed by the FHA or VA.
The violations fall under the Truth in Lending Act, Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule and other federal laws.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker